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Shōgun Premiere Recap: Does FX’s Epic Samurai Tale Rule?

Shōgun Premiere Recap: Does FX’s Epic Samurai Tale Rule?

  |   Written by Dave Nemetz

A Spanish sailor named Rodrigues (Nestor Carbonell) steps in to translate, telling Blackthorne he’s about to meet a powerful lord. He also informs him his ship is theirs now, encouraging him to leave his future up to fate. On their way to Osaka, though, they hit a violent storm that sends Rodrigues overboard, and Blackthorne heroically helps steer the ship to safety. When they reach land, Blackthorne insists on going back to find Rodrigues: “Where I come from, we don’t leave a man behind.”

Blackthorne hikes up a cliff with Yabushige and his men, finding Rodrigues washed up on the rocks below. Blackthorne wants to scale down with a rope, but they won’t let him, so he hands the rope to Yabushige, challenging him to retrieve Rodrigues. Yabushige takes the challenge, but when he’s halfway down the cliff, the rope breaks, and he lands hard on the rocks, leaving him dazed and bloodied. He manages to save Rodrigues, but then he falls into the water himself and gets pulled under the tide. Yabushige draws his sword, prepared to end his life on his own terms — but a rope drops down just in time to pull him to safety.

An impressed Blackthorne bows before Yabushige, and they make their way to Osaka, where Toranaga enlists Mariko to serve as translator for the English sailor. Blackthorne calls this “a savage land,” but Rodgrigues invites him to look at the city of Osaka and reconsider, and he is indeed awed when he sees the sprawling cityscape. Tadayoshi and his baby son are put to death while Blackthorne is brought before Toranaga and Mariko as we hear Rodrigues tell him: “Maybe fate brought you here for a reason. Maybe you’ll live long enough to find out what it is.”

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